The View From My Window Pastor's Weekly Blog

June 7, 2020

We happen to be surrounded by the nicest neighbors of all the forty years of our married lives. There was one particularly surly old lady right behind us who seemed to go out of her way to complain about absurd things but she hasn’t given us any trouble since she died a couple of years ago. No, I didn’t have anything to do with her demise. And yes, there is a house diagonal from our backyard we affectionately refer to as the “loud house”. They love to entertain late into the night, shoot off fireworks every holiday & wake up early to run power saws. BUT, other than that, we’ve got a street full of nice people.

It’s a 55+ neighborhood so most of the residents are retired & many are widowed. That means we watch out for one another, share a lot of baked goods, & never want to be the neighbor with dandelions in their yard.

In today’s study, Jesus tells us we ought to go out of our way – sometimes way out of our way to be neighborly. Find someone who needs help this week & won’t you be their neighbor?

Pastor Joel Everhart

May 31, 2020

As much as we need one another, it can be hard to get along. An old children’s song says, “The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.” I suppose some of that has to do with why we get together. Sometimes people get together to fight a battle. It may also have to do with who is getting together: I wouldn’t suggest having Donald Trump & Nancy Pelosi over for dinner on the same night. When we get together can also be a factor: some people are always late! In fact, I’m told that our society has a very bad habit of saying they’re going to do something but not show up. Ya know what? Let’s just forget this whole together thing. You go live your life & I’ll go live mine…

I don’t suppose that’s very Christlike. Let’s start again. As much as we need one another, it can be hard to get along but its worth the effort. The Bible gives us some good pointers: bear with one another, consider others above yourself, be patient, kind, forgiving, loving …

Pastor Joel Everhart

May 24, 2020

Ever feel like you have to do everything yourself? Can you imagine what it was like for Adam before Eve came along? No, “Hey honey, did you see where I put my keys?” No, “Wow, did you see that?” No, “Do you think the soup needs a little more salt?” No, “Who left the hoe where I could trip over it?”

Today we celebrate people as we look at the prototype. This is Memorial Day Weekend so we want to remember. We want to remember the countless, selfless sacrifices by so many who have made us what we are today. An especially warm “Thank You” to all who have served in the military &/or as first responders & have given their lives for the cause of others. This year we add to that list our health care workers, farmers, processors, truckers, grocers, mechanics & so many others!

Let’s recognize our need for others today. No one, two, or twenty thousand of us could have won WWII. It takes hundreds of millions of us to make the economy work so all of us have toilet paper & other necessities.  Yay people! Show love to someone today, love everyone.

Pastor Joel Everhart


May 17, 2020

Out on a run one morning I happened upon a mallard momma quacking her head off. I discovered that her ducklings were trapped in a storm drain that was covered by a heavy grate. With the help of a neighbor lady I pried the grate open, crawled down in & lifted the youngsters one at a time to the lady who set them on the sidewalk. As soon as four of the five ducklings were free the momma started waddling across a field toward the woods quacking as she went. The fifth one had to really pick up the pace to catch the rest. It was quite a sight to see! I don’t think I ever felt more like a hero than I did that day.

I suppose the real hero was a wild duck willing to risk her own aversion to humans in order to enlist their help in rescuing her brood. Without her intervention, we’d have never known about the ducklings trapped in the drain. That’s what heroes do: they intervene, they make a difference. The hero we study today did it all: He started everything, keeps it all going, saved it all & one day will sort it out & make sense of it all! Now that’s what I call a hero.

Pastor Joel Everhart

May 10, 2020

When I was a wee squirt,
I loved to play in the dirt,
You had a penchant for soap,
It always helped you cope.

You would scrub the floor on your knees,
You’d scrub me as clean as you please,
First twas a bath in the sink,
Later to the shower when I’d stink.

You contended with the devil for my soul,
Drag me to heaven was your goal,
There were times it looked like he’d won,
But he’s no match for a daughter of the Son.

When I was a wee squirt,
I loved to play in the dirt,
You had a penchant for prayer,
It kept me from the devil’s lair.

Heaven is my aim these days,
I’ve learned to walk in all your ways,
Tis Jesus I most want to have waiting for me,
But you’re next on my list of longing to see.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, see you soon.

Pastor Joel Everhart

May 3, 2020

I’ve always been fascinated by our ability to adjust. How often we’ve said, “I just can’t take this anymore” but we do. Or we say, “If they ask me to do one more thing it will drive me over the edge.” They do but we somehow hold it all together & get more done than we ever thought we could. We’re living in one of those moments that tests much of what we’re familiar with & challenges us to do so many things differently. The way we shop for groceries, get our hair done, places we go for entertainment, the way we eat, what’s expected of us at work, how we do church: its all been messed with big time! Pastors from our district have been getting together on Zoom every Tuesday to talk about how drastically our jobs have changed. I pity folks who don’t have such a format. I greatly admire our teachers who have transitioned from the classroom to distance teaching; its like changing careers on the fly. Oh the burden on our front-liners: healthcare, truckers, food suppliers, grocers, first responders & others we don’t even think about but are vital to our wellbeing.

We have seniors in high school & college who won’t get to enjoy a prom or graduation ceremony. Track, baseball, softball & other athletes will not have the opportunity to compete after having worked their way up the ladder & played behind upper classmen. Spring band & chorus have disappeared as well.

Personally, I’m working harder than before yet am left feeling like I’m not getting anything done. All of this is making our time with the Lord more important than ever. HE is our peace. HE steadies our boat after each wave hits. HE helps us calm down & wait patiently for better days. Make a fresh commitment today to cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you.

Pastor Joel Everhart

March 8, 2020

When I was a Royal Ranger we used to compete in 3-man & 5-man teams. Each team was given one match with which to build a fire; a hatchet, knife and some twine to build a shelter. Judges would be dispatched to score how well you chose your campsite, built your lean-to, cleared the space around your fire pit, and if you could indeed ignite your fire with one match. To prepare for these competitions we practiced lashing, fire building, etc. We learned how to pass and store sharp objects safely. Extra points were given if you could also set a snare in hopes of catching dinner.

Part & parcel of every Christian’s training for life must be an ability to pray. Learning how to pray daily, consistently, as well as in times of great need is essential. As representatives of the Lord here on this planet, we are responsible to pray for its inhabitants, nations, laws, etc. as well as for needs we and our loved one’s experience. Don’t put it off any longer, start practicing.

Pastor Joel Everhart

March 1, 2020

I play a lot of racquetball these days. As I write this, I have three very prominent welts: one above each elbow and a new one — planted on me just this morning — on my right side. That last one was extra painful for some reason. It wasn’t hit exceptionally hard but it seemed to smack all the air out of my lungs for a moment. I have hit others and been hit. One of my friends got hit in the head with a racquet last Saturday. We’re not trying to injure one another and I’ve never seen any of these wounds result in any ill feelings.

If you are going to play racquetball you need the ability to take a hit without taking it personal. If you are going to live with other people you need the ability to take a hit without taking it personal. In fact, Jesus requires us to return love for every wound we receive! In life, as in racquetball, practice helps improve our game. Practice loving difficult people.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 23, 2020

The further I get away from my program (that place where I’m eating on schedule & limiting myself to food that is good for me) the more outrageous my eating habits become. “Just a little bit more” soon becomes an all-day grazing habit. Trying to satisfy a craving takes me from the pantry to the refrigerator, to the cupboards, back to the pantry, eating a little of this, then a little of that … I’m never really full but I’m never really hungry either.

I wish I pursued God like I do the satisfaction of my stomach. Actually, that’s the point! As long as our stomach is growling at us, pushing us around, absorbing our attention, our spiritual ears can’t hear a thing. Quieting our flesh, we open ourselves up to a different kind of feeding program. Our hearts begin to hear what the Lord has been trying to tell us for a long time. Be still, quiet your flesh & your spiritual ears will hear amazing things.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 16, 2020

You’ve heard the mantra a thousand times: it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. You’ll never change your lifestyle until you change your mind. Your mind resists change like a cat fights taking a bath. The only way you’ll be successful at changing your mind is by subjecting it to the Word of God (Romans 12:1, 2). Scripture has transforming power. Don’t just listen to the messages in this series about fasting & prayer, agree with them, accept them as truth, ask the Lord to help you apply them.

Perhaps you should even take a few notes! Then go home & practice what you hear. Challenge your flesh, skip a meal & refuse to allow your flesh to throw a tantrum. If you’re anything like me, we’ve got a long way to go before we starve to death. We’re much more likely to whine to death.

Pastor Joel Everhart

February 9, 2020

I was sitting at a red light behind an SUV that had a softball sized bumper sticker on its hatch. I couldn’t quite make it out so I drifted a little closer. In the center was a sloth sitting on a branch. Above the sloth it said, Don’t Hurry & below it said, Be Happy. Sure enough, when the light turned green that vehicle was in no hurry to get moving. I struggled to stay happy.

We live in a busy, fast paced world where it’s easy to be in a hurry even when we’ve no particular place to go. Being happy is more important than being in a rush yet we probably do more running than smiling. The practice of fasting & prayer helps us recalibrate our pace & our values. Don’t gulp down food like you haven’t had any for a month; slow your roll. Don’t hurry, be holy.

Pastor Joel Everhart

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